Selamat Hari Wesak 2556!

Today is not the actual Wesak holiday, but it is the official Wesak holiday, seeing that Malaysians don’t like to miss a day off from work if possible.  Wesak is a Buddhist holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Siddhattha, the Buddha.  (Actually, according to most Chinese Malaysians and Chinese Singaporeans we’ve spoken to lately, people aren’t sure if this day celebrates Siddhattha’s birth, death, or enlightenment.  If nothing else, this is at least some important day.  We are pretty sure it’s his birth.)

Wesak has not been particularly notable today, save for the fact that the mall was really busy because no one was working.  However, lots of things were closed today, including the Islamic Museum, which we had hoped to tour today.  So, we spent today strolling through Chinatown and doing some souvenir shopping.  I (TP) had a chance to really practice my bargaining skills while shopping for a knock-off Coach handbag for Betsy.  Just as game theory teaches us, there’s no more powerful tool in a bargainer’s arsenal than his ability to convince a seller that he has other options.  After I vehemently refused an inappropriate first offer from a vendor and walked away, Betsy thought that we would never get the handbag.  Just as JM and I predicted, though, our disgust convinced the seller to yell after us, offering a better price, and so the bargaining continued.  We should also note that the ability to bargain in Malay is helpful.

Tonight we went out for grilled fish, lemon chicken, noodles and veggies at Jalan Alor, a neighborhood famous for its Chinese hawker stalls.  JM and I will probably never get over how delicious a whole fresh fish, grilled over coconut husks, tastes.

Comments 5

  1. Matt and Sarah May 24, 2005

    Yo Yo Yo! We just wanted to drop you a line because we were thinking about you guys tonight. Sarah and I went out for sushi, and that always reminds us of making it with you guys in New Haven. Also, I have a friend who just returned from 5 years in L.A., and the only way i could describe him to sarah was, “alot like Tom Pepinksy, just not quite as smart and a bit less polite.” Take that any way you want. Also, we were musing on the fact that no ice cream trucks sell soft ice cream. But then we googled and found, we might start a franchise.
    Oh yeah, and check out my new local-blog about albany.
    Hope all is well

  2. Tom and Julie May 24, 2005

    Yo yo yo, it’s nice to hear from you guys. We can’t believe that we’ve been gone for so long. I (TP) checked out your blog and I really enjoy it. It sounds like you guys really enjoy Albany, which is excellent, but kind of throws a wrench in our plans to have friends up in the Nizzle Hizzle next year. You can always come to visit, though, and I might remind you that The Game is at Yale again this fall.
    I’m almost positive that we had a Mister Softee truck that came by our high school when I was a lad. Maybe a Camp Hillian can correct me. In fact, I’ve never had any kind of ice cream from an ice cream truck BUT soft serve from that truck. Chalk that up to the differences between Capital Region NY and Capital Region PA.
    Best regards to Sarah for us. We fully expect to cook sushi with you guys again. I can’t wait to get back to Number 1 Fish Market where my giant fishmonger friend will recommend what on hand can be eaten raw.
    Tom and Julie

  3. Matt and Sarah May 25, 2005

    That’s amazing about the soft ice cream – the only ice cream trucks we ever had were Mr. Ding-a-Ling and Good Humor, and they were both exclusively candy and icre cream style treats – crunch bars, creamsicles, ice cream sandwiches. i’ve never even seen a HARD ice cream truck, nevermind a soft one. I’m fascinated.
    And of course, we’ll be in New haven plenty next year. When are you guys scheduled to return? September?

  4. skyriver May 25, 2005

    Hi, love your blog – Wesak Day celebrates all 3 events – his birth, death and enlightment 🙂

  5. Tom and Julie May 25, 2005

    Hey, my sister claims that it wasn’t Mister Softee, but rather Mister Frostee, and I must agree. Soft ice cream is better. I guess I’ve never heard of hard ice cream from a truck either.
    We’ll be back stateside by the end of August for sure. The dissertation isn’t writing itself while we’re here, that’s for sure.

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